Letters to the Editor

Agriculture and drought, work ethic, mental illness, etc.

Almonds use less than 12 percent of irrigated farmland and about 8 percent of the water going for agriculture, according to Richard Waycott, CEO of the Almond Board of California.
Almonds use less than 12 percent of irrigated farmland and about 8 percent of the water going for agriculture, according to Richard Waycott, CEO of the Almond Board of California. Sacramento Bee file

Common-sense farming

Re “Farmers do share drought sacrifices” (Forum, Another View, April 12): The Ogallala Aquifer sits underneath the American Great Plains, and it’s in big trouble. Too many farmers, with too many groundwater pumps, saw only dollar signs. It’s only been in the last few years that farmers are beginning to see that unless they change their practices, their farms and their dream of passing that way of life to the next generation may be over.

The writer states that people are blaming the almond growers, but it’s not just them. I question the sanity of any farmer putting in almonds, pistachios and grapes. Are they seeing dollar signs in five or 10 years? The writer states that many of these folks planting these water hungry crops are small family farms. I find that hard to believe. No farmer that loves the land and loves the life is so short-sighted. However, corporations do look for the quick return and if things go sour, they take the loss and move on to the next piece of land. The state needs to classify crops in some manner, and almonds are a luxury.

Mike Nelson, Galt

Fast-food workers

Re “Fight over low pay, scheduling” (Forum, April 12): I agree that the employees should be given advance workable schedules but disagree with much of the article. This is written from the union standpoint and doesn’t represent the true conditions.

Workers with good work ethics are needed everywhere. Are you the last one to show up and the first out the door at the end of the shift? Have you made arrangements with a baby sitter so that you can be available for work? This job was available for years so our workers could learn to join the labor pool. Our poor economy has caused workers with dependents to now fill these jobs.

Donald Perry, Sacramento

Mental illness finally gets attention

Re “County’s mental health system must be rebuilt” (Viewpoints, April 12): As a Sacramento County District 4 constituent and mental illness advocate, I applaud Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan’s focus on mental health care in the county. Our county fails in its treatment of serious mental illness.

As the caregiver of a young adult with schizoaffective disorder, I know firsthand of the inadequacies of the system. There is seldom a follow-up, and treatment must be on a volunteer-only basis. Hospital stays are too short, and patients are released without being stabilized. Many people with severe and persistent mental illness lack the insight and cognitive ability to seek treatment, so they are not served or underserved. This leads to incarceration, repeated hospitalizations and/or homelessness.

Effective outpatient treatment is possible and much less expensive than the revolving door of hospitals, jail and the streets. Everyone deserves a right to treatment. With proper care, our county could provide treatment before tragedy.

Kathy Day, Folsom

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